Five Mualimm-ak (FM) and Omar Mualimm-ak (OM)
OM: Do you remember when you first saw me?
FM: Yeah, headfirst. [Laughs] I went to classes. I had like 50 books, so that I could help deliver you. I wanted to make sure I was the first person to touch you.
OM: I didn’t know you took birthing classes.
FM: Yeah. The first night I fell asleep in the hospital holding you. I think it was the most joyous time in my life.
What was the hardest thing for you about me being in prison?
OM: Losing a father.
FM: Nobody to answer guy questions.
OM: Yeah. It affected a lot of areas of my life. I cried a lot. Did you worry about me?
FM: Yeah. Every minute of the day, man. Throughout that dozen years in prison, I felt like I would die in there. But my biggest fear wasn’t losing my life, it was losing my family. When I came home I felt like I did.
When I first saw you, you were so tall. You were like, “Hey, Dad.” [Laughs] You were like a grown man, and I just remember being so proud. You was an intelligent young man. But I felt, all that time I did in prison, I played no part in making you the success that you are. And I can’t make up for half of your life that I missed. That was irreplaceable.
But how do you think our relationship has changed over time?
OM: It’s getting better — that’s the important thing. We can’t beat ourselves up about the past, you know, it’s happened, it’s there. All we have is the present moment.
FM: Yeah. I could care what the world says or thinks. The real damage is what my son thinks.
OM: I’m sorry, Dad.
FM: You don’t have to be sorry.
OM: No, man, I don’t like to see you crying, man. You’re my father despite the jail experience and I don’t want you to think that I don’t care.
FM: I know you do.
One thing that you can never get back is time. And I’m just grateful to move forward as two men getting to know each other now.